The Jakarta Post
Now that renovations are complete, the international terminal of the Teluk Nibung Port in Tanjung Balai, North Sumatra is ready to serve passengers in April.
The facility was the only one that had been modernized in the province. State-owned port operator PT Pelindo I had spent almost 18 months on the work, according to the company’s Tanjung Balai Asahan branch general manager, Aulia Rahman Hasibuan.
The company had spent Rp 34.7 billion on the renovation work, which started in December 2017, he added.
“This will be the only international passenger terminal operated in North Sumatra following the closure of Belawan seaport’s international passenger terminal,” Aulia told The Jakarta Post during his visit recently.
The terminal has two story buildings with a total area of 1,480.5 square meters. The first floor is for check-in, customs and excise and arrival immigration, as well as a VIP room and quarantine room. The second floor is for departure immigration, passenger waiting and coffee shops.
The passenger terminal has been modernized into the shape of a shell to reflect local wisdom and can accommodate about 800 passengers. The previous terminal had a capacity for only 300 people.
The seaport is also to have a food court. The improvements are completely finished except for the food court, which is expected to be finished in the near future, Aulia said.
“These are for the comfort and security of both domestic and international passengers,” he said.
The Teluk Nibung seaport would only be able to accommodate ferries as the surrounding water is shallow and they would only sail as far as Malaysia.
“So far it can only connect to Port Klang and Perak in Malaysia,” he said, adding that farther routes would be established in the future to lure more tourists.
A return ticket for the four-hour Teluk Nibung-Port Klang trip would cost Rp 650,000, he added.
Last year, Teluk Nibung served 56,421 passengers, 5 percent of whom were foreign tourists. The rest were mostly migrant workers and locals who traveled to Malaysia to work or to visit family.
“We want to increase the number of foreign tourist visits once the seaport is in operation,” Aulia said.
PT Pelindo I’s spokesperson Fiona Sari Utami expressed the same view, saying that the modernized terminal building would become one of the city’s icons capable of luring foreign tourists. “We want to have more tourists visiting, especially through the seaport,” she said.
A local, Tika Mandasari, 27, said she was impatiently waiting to be able to depart for Malaysia through the Teluk Nibung Port.
“We are glad that the Teluk Nibung passenger terminal has been modernized. Hopefully, this will improve the people’s economic situation, especially those in Tanjung Balai,” said Tika, who lives some 500 meters from the seaport.